South Australia deregulated its electricity and gas retail prices in 2013 so energy providers need to offer good deals if they want to keep their customers.
If you're not happy with how much your paying, you're free to compare electricity rates in SA from other providers and move elsewhere.
Compare energy providers in SA
What are the 20 cheapest electricity plans in SA?
Although the cheapest plans may vary based on the type of tariff, your location, your household and your usage, you can get a general idea of which is the cheapest using this table.
The following price estimates are a general guide only. Estimated prices are based on a residential customer in Adelaide, South Australia who consumes 4,000 kWh a year on a single rate tariff in the SA Power Network and only one plan per brand is shown. Estimated prices include conditional discounts (if any). Any plans with special eligibility requirements are excluded. Prices last checked on December 2019 and are subject to change. Always check the provider's site before applying.
Difference from reference price
Estimated price (per 91 days)
Estimated price (annual)
Kogan Energy Market Offer
Everyday Renewable Saver
7% less (without conditional discounts)
Further 7% off the reference price if you always pay on time and 3% off the reference price when you pay by Direct Debit.
Powerbank Home Flat
Residential Essentials Saver - No Exit Fee
Powerdirect Residential Discount Saver - No Exit Fee
Elysian Market Residential Simple Plan (SAPN)
9% (without conditional discounts)
Further 5% discount off usage applies when the account is paid by the due date.
...on average, a household could be charged around $1,560 annually.
SA is one of the more expensive states for electricity, with the average rate being $0.39 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
What does this mean?
Standard household usage in SA is around 4,000 kWh over a year. This means a household could be charged is around $1,560 annually ($0.39 x 4,000) on average.
Note: This example is a general guide and doesn't include fixed daily supply charges and other fees. Household usage has been taken from AER's Default Market Offer Prices Report and is based on the SA Power Network.
How do I get the best electricity deal in SA?
1. Understand these terms before you compare
To ensure you have access to the best electricity deals, here are the key terms you should understand and look out for:
This is the type of offer all energy retailers are legally obliged to make available to you in South Australia. It is set by the government and is usually more expensive than a market offer.
The Default Market Offer is the maximum annual bill that an energy provider can charge for standing offers.
The Default Market Offer acts as a "reference price" that makes it easier for customers in South Australia to compare plans from different providers.
How can the reference price help you get a better deal?
The reference price lets you compare the estimated price for a plan as a percentage more than or less than the reference price. This will help guide you on what is and isn't a good deal.
Default Market Offers for different distribution areas
The more competitive the energy market in South Australia, the more choices you have as a consumer. Lots of providers offer discounts, tailored plans and special offers depending on when and how you use your electricity and gas, so taking your personal needs into account is essential to getting the best deal. Before buying, ask yourself:
What time of the day do you use the most electricity and gas?
Are you happy to pay by credit card if it means you can receive a discount? Or do you want flexibility?
Do you prefer a flat fee structure with fixed payments? If you are generally always home, this might be the way to go.
Would you rather only pay for what you use? If you travel a lot and aren't always home, it makes more sense to only pay for the electricity you actually use.
Knowing the answer to these questions should make it much easier to find the cheapest electricity plans in SA.
3. Compare plan features
If you're ready to compare plan features, here's what to look for:
You can usually choose between a single rate tariff or one that charges you a time of use tariff.
You can get discounts for paying on time, for signing long-term contracts and for bundling gas and electricity plans together. Many energy plans offer discounts — the key is to find one that extends its discounts to customers beyond the first stages of your contract.
Watch out for policies with termination fees. This can range from around $40 to $100 and will be specified in your contract. No-lock-in contracts are a viable alternative if you don't want cancellation fees.
If you're not sure you will be able to pay bills on time with one form of payment, go for a flexible plan. If you want to save, you can often get a discount for paying with a credit card.
Digital energy tools
You can measure your energy consumption with a range of apps and online tools. Knowing exactly what and where your energy use comes from could help you find a better deal in the future.
Although South Australia only has one electricity distributor, SA Power Networks, and one gas distributor, Australian Gas Networks (SA), there are plenty of energy providers in competition with one another. This means there are plenty of opportunities to get a good deal.
SA Power Networks
Australian Gas Networks (SA)
South Australia introduced deregulation in 2013, which means that electricity providers are now free to set their own prices once a year on 1 July. It's hoped that price deregulation can increase competition and put downward pressure on electricity prices.
Most of South Australia's energy (around 60%) is generated through natural gases. However, if you have an eligible solar PV system, you can get access to retailer feed-in tariffs, an initiative that lets you sell unused solar power back to the grid.
Energy rebates and concessions in SA
There are several rebates and concessions available to Australians living in South Australia, including the following:
Across South Australia, there are two main types of electricity tariffs. These are:
Single rate tariffs. This is when you are charged the same price for electricity regardless of when you use it.
Time of use tariffs. This is when you are charged different rates for your electricity usage depending on what time of the day you use it — there are peak and off-peak times.
In South Australia, most households are on single rate tariffs, so the price you pay for electricity will stay the same no matter when you use it. South Australia also only has one tariff for all residential households — called "Tariff 110" — but it's used by retailers in different ways. The tariff price you pay is based on "block rates", which means you're charged based on how much you use electricity, not when you use it.
How can I switch providers in SA?
Switching energy providers in South Australia is simple. All you need to do is choose a new retailer and sign up.
It depends on the retailer. Many households in South Australia have an advanced digital meter, or smart meter, installed. These measure how much electricity you use and when you use it, which allows the provider to calculate your usage patterns more accurately and advise you of your exact monthly costs rather than relying on estimates. Smart meters send information to the provider automatically, so there's no need for someone to come and manually check your meter.
If you move to a different state, you might have to switch providers, depending on where you move. In some states, you can choose from a wide range of gas and electricity providers, while other states are regulated and have limited options.
GreenPower is a government scheme that allows consumers to purchase renewable energy through their provider. It's a way of displacing dirtier forms of energy and supporting cleaner sources. Providers offering GreenPower must be accredited by the Australian government. For more information, check out our guide to GreenPower.
Sarah Brandon is a senior writer at Finder. She has a degree in Psychology from New York University and loves learning about why people do what they do. Sarah has researched and written about a wide range of topics, from pool fences to private jets to personal loans. But no matter the subject, her number one priority is figuring out what information our readers need to make the best decisions.
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